Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Shane Callanan from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:


Shane Callanan

Electronic Engineer

Smart Futures

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  Shane Callanan
Being an Engineer is a great career choice. It offers so many opportunities both in Ireland and world-wide. Most positions will have terrific travel opportunities after a few years experience under your belt, and if you choose you course carefully your qualification will be recognised by employers all over the globe. Also an engineering qualification will open doors into management roles if that is your preferred career choice, but the reverse is not the case (if you do a course outside of engineering, you will probably not be able to branch off into engineering a few years after graduating).

The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with clever technology. They will often follow the latest developments in their chosen field, and prefer mentally stimulating environments.
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Careers in Construction

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Careers in Construction

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

Careers in Construction

The construction industry has changed in the last two-three years. From a low point in 2012 when the industry employed just 98,000 people to a point where 1,000 people a month are joining the sector.

Over 140,000 people are now employed in the construction industry and the recent DKM Report, Construction Skills Demand to 2020 is predicting that the level of employment will rise by a further 112,000 people in the next three years.

Skilled people

Construction requires a diverse range of skills. The sector needs engineers, project managers, and trades people, semi-skilled and general operatives. There is growing demand for a huge variety of construction-related roles - from junior and senior quantity surveyors, to architects,  plasterers, bricklayers, electricians, plumbers and beyond. 

Exciting career opportunities

The future is good for young people who are seeking exciting career opportunities

Opportunities across the industry are widely available to young people. Second-level students and school leavers in particular, are urged to consider a career in construction

Many young people opt for college as the route to their chosen career, but that's not the only route to a career in construction.

The construction sector is the primary industry sector in Ireland for the employment of apprentices. At its height, construction employed almost 27,000 (92%) of apprentices. The number of new apprentices entering construction now needs to more than double by 2020 - it must rise from 1,700 to 4,000 by then, in order to deliver on housing and infrastructure requirements.

How do you become an apprentice?

  • You must be at least 16 years of age
  • You must have achieved certain minimum educational qualifications (a minimum of 5 grade D in the Junior Certificate or equivalent, or successfully complete an approved pre-apprenticeship course). Some employers specify higher educational qualifications - they may require a leaving certificate for an electrical or plumbing apprenticeship for example.
  • OR - be over 16 years of age and have at least three years’ relevant work experience approved by SOLAS.
  • Some apprenticeships require you to pass a colourvision test. 

Finding apprenticeship vacancies

To start an apprenticeship, you must first obtain employment as an apprentice in your chosen apprenticeship area, with an employer who is approved by SOLAS to train apprentices.

Last year, CIF launched - a dedicated website for the industry which aims to match interested apprentices with employers in the sector:


A list of recruitment websites and employers with links to their apprenticeship recruitment url is also available here.

Other sources of information for finding apprenticeship vacancies

  • Check with relatives, neighbours or friends who work in a construction-related area.
  • Research companies that might consider recruiting you as an apprentice.
  • Check with your local Department of Social Protection Employment Services / INTREO office
  • Check with training advisors in your local Education and Training Board (ETB) office.

The CareersPortal Team